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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Usage statistics for the noun colour:

conversational speech69.64%task-oriented speech30.36%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun colour:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb colour:


Fun fact! There was no word for the colour orange in English until the 16th century.

Colour is sometimes a misspelling of coloured.

Video footage: Colour swatches book. Rainbow sample colors catalogue.
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Definition of the noun colour

What does colour mean as a name of something?

Colour is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: colours

  1. any material used for its color
    • lexical domain: Substances - nouns denoting substances
    • synonyms of colour: color / coloring material / colouring material
    • more generic words: material / stuff = the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object
    • more specific words:
      • pigment / paint = a substance used as a coating to protect or decorate a surface
      • indicator = a substance that changes color to indicate the presence of some ion or substance
      • mordant = a substance used to treat leather or other materials before dyeing
      • dyestuff / dye = a usually soluble substance for staining or coloring e.g. fabrics or hair
      • tincture = a substance that colors or dyes
      • hematochrome = a reddish coloring material found in some algae
      • pigment = dry coloring material
      • pigment = any substance whose presence in plant or animal tissues produces a characteristic color
      • stain = a dye or other coloring material that is used in microscopy to make structures visible
  2. (physics) the characteristic of quarks that determines their role in the strong interaction
  3. interest and variety and intensity
  4. the timbre of a musical sound
  5. a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect
  6. an outward or token appearance or form that is deliberately misleading
  7. the appearance of objects (or light sources) described in terms of a person's perception of their hue and lightness (or brightness) and saturation
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • synonym of colour: color
    • more generic terms: appearance / visual aspect = outward or visible aspect of a person or thing

Alternative definition of the noun colour


  1. [uncountable] The spectral composition of visible light
  2. [countable] A particular set of visible spectral compositions, perceived or named as a class
  3. [uncountable] Hue as opposed to achromatic colours (black, white and greys).
  4. [uncountable] Human skin tone, especially as an indicator of race or ethnicity.
  5. [figuratively] Interest, especially in a selective area
  6. [tincture]: Any of the standard dark tinctures used in a coat of arms, including azure, gules, sable, and vert. Contrast with metal.
  7. [in the plural] A standard or banner.
  8. The system of colour television.
  9. [in the plural] An award for sporting achievement, particularly within a school or university.
  10. [physics] A property of quarks, with three values called red, green, and blue, which they can exchange by passing gluons.
  11. [typography] The relative lightness or darkness of a mass of written or printed text on a page.
  12. [snooker] Any of the coloured balls excluding the reds.

Specialised definition of the noun colour

Glossary of sports / billiards

any of the six coloured balls - yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black - which are potted after a red and which must be potted in sequence after the 15 reds have been potted

Definition of the adjective colour

What does colour mean as an attribute of a noun?

adjective - degrees: more colour / colourer |

  1. having or capable of producing colors

Definition of the verb colour

What does colour mean as a doing word?

Colour is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: coloured | colouring | colours

  1. modify or bias
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • synonym of colour: color
    • more generic terms: act upon / influence / work = have and exert influence or effect
  2. decorate with colors
  3. give a deceptive explanation or excuse for
  4. affect as in thought or feeling
  5. add color to
  6. change color, often in an undesired manner

Alternative definition of the verb colour


  1. To give something colour.
  2. [intransitive] To apply colours to the areas within the boundaries of a line drawing using coloured markers or crayons.
    • Of a face: To become red through increased blood flow, implying due to strong emotion.
    • To affect without completely changing.
    • [informal] To attribute a quality to.


    "Colour" a.k.a. "Varnam" is a 1989 Malayalam-language comedy-drama film starting Jayaram and Suresh Gopi. As the directorial debut of film director Ashokan, the film received critical acclaim and was well received.


    1. "Colour" is a book by Rudolf Steiner.
      • also known as "Colour: three lectures given in Dornach 6 to 8 May 1921 with nine supplementary lectures given on various occasions"
    2. "Colour" is a book by Victoria Finlay.


    1. "Colour" is the second album by British soul group The Christians. It was released in January 1990 by Island Records and peaked at number one on the UK Albums Chart. It also reached the Top 20 in several European countries due, notably, to the success of its lead single "Words".
      • released in (25 years ago)
    2. "Colour", released in 2008, is the third full-length album by British DJ and electronic dance music composer Andy Hunter°. It is the follow-up to his second album Life, as well has his longest album to date; however, Exodus is over 3 minutes longer, so if the album was reissued on two discs, it would be. Any reissues for any of Andy's albums is yet to be confirmed. The album was brought with much critical acclaim. "Stars", a collaboration with Mark Underdown, was the main, and only, single off the album.
    3. "Colour" is a musical album of Miki Imai.
      • released on
    4. "Colour" is a musical album of Bloody Woods.
      • released in (6 years ago)
    5. "Colour" is a musical album of Lea Lu.
      • released in (4 years ago)
    6. "Colour" is a composition.
      • music and lyrics by Seal
    7. "Colour" is a musical album of Paper Lions.
      • released on (8 years ago)


    1. Colour is a musical group.
    2. Colour is a musical group.
      • album: "Deep Oceans and Blue Skies"

    There are other groups with in their name, like Colour Haze, Colour Kane, Flesh Colour, Colour Coding, Colour Revolt, Tattoo Colour, A Blaze Colour, Colour of Fire, A Riot of Colour, Colour the Atlas, Europe in Colour, The Colour Field, Ocean Colour Scene, A Colour Cold Black, Green Dollar Colour, True Colour of Blood, The Colour Pink Is Gay and The History of Colour Tv.


    Colour: A colour is a name for certain kinds of flags.

    Phrases with Colour

    Phrases starting with the word Colour:

    1. colour in
    2. colour tv
    3. colour bar
    4. Colour Code
    5. colour line
    6. colour tube
    7. colour wash
    8. Colour Blind
    9. Colour Force
    10. Colour Wheel
    11. colour-blind

    Phrases ending with the word Colour:

    1. off-colour
    2. oil colour
    3. Wax-Colour
    4. food colour
    5. skin colour
    6. basic colour
    7. Baulk Colour
    8. False Colour
    9. multi-colour

    View more phrases with the word Colour in thesaurus!

    Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Colour

    Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

    Google previewThe Portable Encyclopaedia: Or, A Dictionary of the Arts and Sciences (1831)

    On the Basis of Dr. Gregory's Comprehending the Latest Improvements in Every Branch of Useful Knowledge by James Mitchell

    The colour is a light lead-grey; it occurs massive, disseminated, and in acicular and capillary chrystals. Third species. Bismuth-ochre. The colour is a straw- yellow, passing into other neighbouring shades. TENth GENUs. Zinc. First species.

    Google previewDictionary of Ceramic Science and Engineering (2013)

    by Ian J. McColm

    Ceramic resistor colour code (the four coloured rings are read from left to right on the ...

    Google previewThe Potter's Dictionary of Materials and Techniques (2004)

    by Frank Hamer, Janet Hamer

    See Colour plate 38. china clay manganese oxide copper oxide Clay body. Dough ...

    Google previewThe Encyclopaedia Britannica, Or, A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature (1823)

    When a red drapery is required, it is engraved on the plate assigned to that colour; and so of yellow and blue: but if one of the other colours be wanting, suppose violet, it must be engraved on those that print the The plates of this kind have ...

    Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Colour

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    Photos about Colour

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    Small photo of Colour swatches book. Rainbow sample colors catalogue. More...

    Video language resources about Colour

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    View more videos about The Colour, Colour Force, Primary Colour, Colour sergeant, A Riot of Colour, and Complementary Colour.

    See also the pronunciation examples of Colour!

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    Quotes about Colour

    I had an idea for a story about a young woman who was living with people who were different, not just superficially different - such as hair colour, or eye colour, or skin colour - but different in some significant way. (Jean M. Auel)
    more quotes about colour...

    Scrabble value of C3O1L1O1U1R1

    The value of this 6-letter word is 8 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

    Anagrams of COLOUR

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    See also the blanagrams of Colour!

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